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Initials found scratched into the innards of a lens. Meaning?
Old 5 Days Ago   #1
landsknechte
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Initials found scratched into the innards of a lens. Meaning?

Earlier this afternoon, I cleaned up the petrified grease that had been preventing the aperture ring on my Summar from turning. When I had it apart, I noticed some initials carved into the side of one the internal components. Anyone know if this was commonplace, or if there's any context to this little Easter egg?

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-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
1936 Zeiss Contax II
1939 Leica III to IIIa conversion
1940 Фэд-НКВД
1946 Leica IIIc to IIIf conversion
1957 Зоркий-C



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Old 5 Days Ago   #2
TenEleven
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This is less likely to be initials and more likely to be the number "77" written in German style. It is very likely that this is from the original assembly.

I don't personally know about Leica lenses, but it's very common in Zeiss made lenses. Some of the mounts even had a very beautifully stamped serial number in them. Especially the lenses Zeiss made in Leica mount for military use.

Usually it designates a batch/assembly number or reference to help the engineer find the properly matched parts for the lens he is assembling. This is done because neither the helicoid nor the optical glass itself are usually of a precise focal length. There is some variation. To make sure that the lenses focus will track correctly with the rangefinder reading mounts and optical units are measured and assigned to each other to ensure best possible RF tracking.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #3
landsknechte
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Now that you mention it, numerals seem more likely. For some odd reason, my brain never thought to flip it over and look at it that way. I was interpreting it as "TL".
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1936 Zeiss Contax II
1939 Leica III to IIIa conversion
1940 Фэд-НКВД
1946 Leica IIIc to IIIf conversion
1957 Зоркий-C



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Old 4 Days Ago   #4
Rayt
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Mine is engraved: for a good time call Guenther
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Old 4 Days Ago   #5
Steve M.
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You wouldn't happen to have Guenther's phone number would you? I'm asking just for market research purposes of course. I sure hope Guenther is a woman, both for their sake, and mine.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #6
Malcolm M
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It may refer to the focal length. Apparently early Leica lenses were marked with the last 2 digits of the exact focal length- (49).77mm. I assumed this related to the very first interchangeable lens cameras, where lenses were matched to individual bodies, which predate the introduction of the Summar- so I might be wrong.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #7
Rob-F
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm M View Post
It may refer to the focal length. Apparently early Leica lenses were marked with the last 2 digits of the exact focal length- (49).77mm. I assumed this related to the very first interchangeable lens cameras, where lenses were matched to individual bodies, which predate the introduction of the Summar- so I might be wrong.
Yes, I think it could refer to the focal length variation, for matching, not to a camera, but to the focusing mount. Leitz made the mounts in several different pitches to match the focal length of the lens cell. Some Leica lenses have the code engraved on the outside of the mount, near the infinity mark, such as "19" for "51.9." I'm not sure how to interpret "77" but perhaps it could mean 47.7mm. That would be just under five percent deviation, which I believe was the tolerance Leitz allowed. It goes in tenths of a millimeter, not hundredths.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #8
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I'm not sure how to interpret "77" but perhaps it could mean 47.7mm. That would be just under five percent deviation, which I believe was the tolerance Leitz allowed. It goes in tenths of a millimeter, not hundredths.

"77" could be the last numerals of the serial number of the lens. Often parts of lenses do differ slightly because they are adapted to fit a specific lens more precise.


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Old 4 Days Ago   #9
raydm6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm M View Post
It may refer to the focal length. Apparently early Leica lenses were marked with the last 2 digits of the exact focal length- (49).77mm. I assumed this related to the very first interchangeable lens cameras, where lenses were matched to individual bodies, which predate the introduction of the Summar- so I might be wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Yes, I think it could refer to the focal length variation, for matching, not to a camera, but to the focusing mount. Leitz made the mounts in several different pitches to match the focal length of the lens cell. Some Leica lenses have the code engraved on the outside of the mount, near the infinity mark, such as "19" for "51.9." I'm not sure how to interpret "77" but perhaps it could mean 47.7mm. That would be just under five percent deviation, which I believe was the tolerance Leitz allowed. It goes in tenths of a millimeter, not hundredths.
I'm thinking that also.

https://www.nemeng.com/leica/039b.shtml

Also, some info somewhere in the old greenspun/photo.net board Leica archive

Markings on my lenses: Top - 135 Tele-Elmar (136mm), bottom - 90 Tele-Elmarit-thin (90mm).

Leica M Lens Markings by rdc154, on Flickr
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Old 4 Days Ago   #10
mpaniagua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raydm6 View Post
I'm thinking that also.

https://www.nemeng.com/leica/039b.shtml

Also, some info somewhere in the old greenspun/photo.net board Leica archive

Markings on my lenses: Top - 135 Tele-Elmar (136mm), bottom - 90 Tele-Elmarit-thin (90mm).

Leica M Lens Markings by rdc154, on Flickr
You beat me to it ray, was thinking the same thing since I got my Summilux 50mm near. It has a 13, meaning it is a 51.3mm.

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Old 4 Days Ago   #11
Erik van Straten
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I've never seen "77" on the distance scale of a Leica-lens.


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Old 4 Days Ago   #12
giganova
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Originally Posted by Rayt View Post
Mine is engraved: for a good time call Guenther
Brilliant reply!
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